Senior football Championship – Aghada 3-8 v O’Donovan Rossa 1-16
Our senior footballers lost the 1st round of championship last Saturday night, going down by two points to Skibbereen outfit O’Donovan Rossa’s in Pairc Ui Rinn. In what was a good game of football, the West Cork team deserved their victory, but credit to Aghada also, who battled right to the death. 7 points down with 10 minutes to play, the writing looked on the wall at that point, but Aghada finished the stronger in those closing 10 minutes. Cian Fleming earned and pointed a free on 53 minutes. Rossa’s replied from play on 54 minutes, but next up Josh O’Shea kicked a super point with 2 minutes of normal time to play. Aghada still needed a goal and after a good move Ronan Kennedy got through the Skibb defence but his shot flew just over the bar. As the clock ticked into injury time, Aghada came again. This time Josh floated a high ball into the square, which Mathew O’Connor kept in play and broke the ball to Kevin O’Hanlon who finished smartly to the back of the net. Suddenly there was only 2 points in it and still time on the clock. O Donovan Rossa won the kickout however and played a bit of keep ball for the final seconds before the referee finnaly blew the full time whistle to bring procedings to a close in this East v West contest.
Rossa’s came out of the blocks fast on the night, hitting two points in the opening two minutes, one from play and one from a free. Their top forward Kevin Davis missed very little for the night and was a major thorn in Aghada’s side all through. Aghada got the scoreboard moving from a Fleming brace, again one was a free and one was from play. The latter set up by a strong run from defence by Tim Hartnett. Rossa’s had 2 more minors, before Aghada struck for the 1st of their 3 goals. Charlie Terry won the mark from the kickout, and quickly released Aaron Berry. The wing forward made a strong 40 yard run before off loading to Shane Bennett, who calmly slotted home to the bottom right corner soccer style. Again Skibb hit two in a row to retake the lead, but then came Aghada’s second goal. Bennett intercepted a sideline kick and then passed to Fleming, who in turn set Kennedy through on goals and he slotted home under the ‘keeper. Next up however, Rossa’s struck for an important score, when straight from the resulting kickout, they went the length of the field and raised a green flag of their own. They could have had a second major a minute later, but Andy O’Donoghue in the Aghada goal made a fine save. The resulting ’45 was dispatched over the bar. From there to half time Skibb outscored Aghada 4 points to 2. Aghada’s scores came from Josh O’Shea and Ronan Kennedy who was set up by a fine pass from O’Shea. At halftime it was a 4 point game 1-11 v 2-4.
The sides exchanged points in the opening 5 minutes after the restart, but Aghada would go the best part of 20 minutes without scoring again. Skibb hit 3 points in the same period to open up that 7 point lead going into the final 10. Next came the Aghada fightback, which ultimatley came up just short and its O’Donovan Rossa who take the direct route in this year’s championship. Aghada will face Clyda Rovers in Round 2, after the Mourne Abbey men lost to Nemo Rangers in the preceeding game.
Aghada team and scorers – Andy O’Donoghue, Tim Hartnett, Jake O’Donoghue, Kyle O’Shea, Tommy O’Donoghue, Jordan Tynan, Aiden O’Connell, Marcus Leahy, Charlie Terry, Aaron Berry, Josh O’Shea(0-2), Conor O Driscoll, Shane Bennett (1-0), Cian Fleming (0-4,3f’s),Ronan Kennedy (1-2). Subs Used – Matt O’Connor, Daniel Creedon, Kevin O’Hanlon(1-0).